According to a long-standing interpretation which traces back to Max Jammer's Concepts of Force (1957), Ruggiero G. Boscovich would have developed a concept of force in the tradition of Leibniz's dynamics. In his variation on the theme, basic properties of matter such as solidity or impenetrability would be derived from an interplay of some “active” force of attraction and repulsion that any primary element of nature (“point of matter” in Boscovich's theory) would possess. In the present paper I discuss many flaws of this interpretation and argue for an alternative point of view, according to which the crucial aspect in the development of Boscovich's natural philosophy is his early definition of forces as “mathematical determinations” to have a certain state of motion. This is consistent with a Newtonian background and has as its epistemological consequence a certain agnosticism about the nature of forces and a “mathematical neutralism” (mathematics as a neutral tool, allowing for a plurality of interpretations).
Ruggiero Boscovich and The Forces Existing in Nature / L. Guzzardi. - In: SCIENCE IN CONTEXT. - ISSN 0269-8897. - 30:4(2017 Dec 01), pp. 385-422.
|Titolo:||Ruggiero Boscovich and The Forces Existing in Nature|
|Parole Chiave:||Boscovich; dynamicism; force; Newtonianism; vis viva controversy|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-FIL/02 - Logica e Filosofia della Scienza|
Settore M-STO/05 - Storia della Scienza e delle Tecniche
|Data di pubblicazione:||1-dic-2017|
|Data ahead of print / Data di stampa:||2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0269889717000266|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|